Sebastiani Vineyards of Sonoma was founded in 1904 by Samuele Sebastiani, a Tuscan immigrant who worked as a stone mason in the Sonoma hills before buying land for vineyards. His winery supplied wine to San Francisco until Prohibition, which the winery survived by making sacramental wine. By the 1960s and 1970s the family-run business was one of the largest winemakers in California and was known primarily for sweet, bulk wines. Various members of the family have left over the years to start their own winemaking ventures and today the estate is owned by Bill Foley of Foley Family Wines. The estate makes a broad portfolio of wines including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Zinfandel, Merlot, Chardonnay and Syrah.
Sonoma Coast AVA runs from San Pablo Bay in the south to Mendocino County in the north. It includes 7,000 vineyard acres and earned AVA status in 1987. Its proximity to the Pacific Ocean means it gets double the rainfall of nearby inland appellations and the ocean gives the appellation a relatively cool climate. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir can thrive in these conditions, and there are numerous producers making critically acclaimed Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.